Everybody loves Layton
It’s been a rough couple of years for Level-5. Considered one of the stronger development houses in Japan, it’s struggled recently to reach the worldwide audience it once did. It also bought Comcept for some reason. Anyway, the studio has seen just a few titles make it over the Pacific in the past couple of years, including Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold and Fantasy Life Online. Others, like new entries in its once-popular Yo-kai Watch series or its Megaton Musashi games, have stayed put in Japan. Add in the fact that Inazuma Eleven: Victory Road of Heroes has been terminally delayed over the years, and it very well seemed like the company was slowly wilting from this world. But after yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, I think Level-5 is on the mend.
The developer had three games revealed during the presentation, including the return of perhaps its most popular original creation. After many years of reports and rumors, it was confirmed during the Direct that Professor Layton will return in a new game titled Professor Layton and the New World of steam. We’ve posted the teaser trailer below, which really is nothing more than animated key art. Information, unfortunately, is pretty sparse at the moment, and it is currently unknown if the game will launch in 2023.
One game that is scheduled for this year is the next entry in the Fantasy Life series. Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time will see players exploring a new island in two different time periods. If you missed out on Fantasy Life on the Nintendo 3DS and avoided the recently shuttered mobile version, the series lets players explore the world around them through different jobs known as Lifes. In the original, you could engage in combat with your sword in hand or take a pacifist route by playing as one of the gatherer classes. It was the first time a non-MMO game really let me go through it at my own pace, and I can’t wait to do it again on Switch.
Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time is planned for release in 2023.
Also planned for release this year is DECAPOLICE. In this “crime-suspense RPG,” players will take control of a junior detective named Harvard as he explores a virtual recreation of the real world to solve crimes. Judging by the trailer below, players will visit crime scenes, collect evidence, make accusations…and then engage in some turn-based battles. It looks neat, and I can’t wait to see more.